For Immediate Release: July 16, 2014

Senator David Pearce's Early Childhood Legislation Signed by Governor

JEFFERSON CITY — Legislation handled by Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg, to help early childhood education by inclusion in the funding formula was given approval by the governor and is set to become law.

“This education bill is one of the most far-reaching measures this year,” Sen. Pearce said. “With these provisions put in place, this legislative investment will pay huge dividends for our future.”

House Bill 1689 authorizes a school district or a charter school that runs an early childhood education program to receive state funding through the foundation formula for students aged 3 through 5 who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. This measure will take effect for unaccredited districts in the 2015-16 school year, provisionally accredited the following year, and all other school districts the year after that.

Another provision in the bill asks the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to adjust the state funding target if the foundation formula is not sufficient to fully fund all school districts.

“This legislation will not only give our state’s youngest students the best possible start to their education, but will assist every education level,” Sen. Pearce said. “With many steps forward and huge leaps back that have been made this legislative session, it is good to know that education is still a priority.”

HB 1689 was sponsored in the House by Rep. Kathryn Swan, R-Cape Girardeau, and co-sponsored by Rep. John Wright, D-Rocheport.

For more information about this measure or any of Sen. Pearce’s sponsored or handled legislation, please visit his Senate website at